It’s no mystery that the horse world has its own vocabulary book. To an outsider, we may sound like we are speaking a foreign language, but these terms help us communicate easier with fellow equestrians. Whether you’re a beginner or just looking to brush up on your horse knowledge, study these 20 terms so you have a clue what your instructor or horse friend is talking about.

  1. Mare – Female horse over the age of three.
  2. Gelding – Castrated male horse over the age of three.
  3. Stallion – Uncastrated male horse over the age of three.
  4. Filly – Young female horse three years or younger.
  5. Colt – Young male horse three years or younger.
  6. Foal – Newborn horse
  7. Weanling – A horse between 6 and 12 months of age.
  8. Yearling – A horse over the age of 12 months.
  9. Hand – Standard measurement unit of height (1 hand = 4 inches).
  10. Sound – No injuries that prevent the horse from regular performance.
  11. Lame – Injury that effects the horse’s movement or health.
  12. Unbroke – Horse is not yet trained to be ridden.
  13. Green broke – Basic training has been done, but horse still needs more work under saddle.
  14. Dead broke – This horse is safe for all level riders and will be good for absolute beginners.
  15. Gaits – The different speeds the horse travels.
  16. Tack – Horse equipment used to ride, drive, or care for your animal.
  17. Hard keeper – Horse has trouble keeping weigh on or requires special care to look healthy.
  18. Easy keeper – Horse easily maintains weigh on regular amounts of hay and grain. They do not require extra care.
  19. Bolting – Horse runs off suddenly and will not respond to aids.
  20. Cribbing – A vice where the horse grabs wood (usually fence boards or boards in stalls) with his top teeth and sucks in air. Endorphins are released when he does this.

While this is just a short list of the many equine terms out there, it will hopefully explain a few things for you. Stay tune for more terminology coming your way!